LibriVox recording of The Thirty-nine Steps by John Buchan. Reading by Adrian Praetzellis.
Richard Hannay’s boredom is soon relieved when the resourceful engineer is caught up in a web of secret codes, spies, and murder on the eve of WWI. This exciting action-adventure story was the inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock’s 1939 classic film of the same name. John Buchan (1875-1940) was Governor General of Canada and a popular novelist. Although condemned by some for anti-Semitic dialog in The Thirty-Nine Steps, his character’s sentiments do not represent the view of the author who was identified in Hitler’s Sonderfahndungsliste (special search list) as a “Jewish sympathiser.” (Summary by Adrian Praetzellis)
For further information, including links to online text, reader information, RSS feeds, CD cover or other formats (if available), please go to the LibriVox catalog page for this recording.
May 16, 2010 Subject:
Fun book, very good recording
Enjoyable mystery/adventure book -- the last chapter in particular builds tension to great effect. The reader struck me as excellent and very appropriate. The recording quality is very good, except for a few distortions (mainly in chapters 5 and 6, when some Scottish accents come into play).
April 7, 2010 Subject:
Much Better Than the Hitchcock Movie (and the Movie is Pretty Good)
This is the most exciting reading of a book that I've come across.
Mr. Praetzellis an archaeologist by trade like the arch-villain the chief of the Black Stone in this book is brilliant in his reading.
It has taken several listenings to understand that the novel is all about safe-cracking and acccess to state secrets-- with The 39 Steps being the combination to cracking the master safe crackers' safe.
As a psycholgical and intellectual thriller it is very satisfying to see the hero who has wasted talents at the beginning of the novel rise to the occasion and show what can be done when ego does not get in the way of doing one's best work.
April 23, 2009 Subject:
Umm. Not sure I agree with the last reviewer. I found the story lacked continuity in places, and the ending was for me a fizzler.
However, the reader (Adrian Praetzellis) was excellent and I aggree that his voice characterisations were first class, especially the Scottish farmer. It was truly unintelligibly authentic.
As a fan of the story, the moment I saw this I was hitting the download button.
I find the story exciting, thrilling and a real joy. The hero is a man of action, not a trained spy, not a dyed in the wool hero, just Johnny on the Spot who's prepared to do his bit.
There are chases, disguises and secret codes to top it off with all of the standard spy story requirements. It's an excellently put together story and I have to say the reader in this case was just as excellent as the story itself.
The story opens with the protagonist bored out of his skull, and the reader portrays this perfectly. Later when things start to liven up, the reader lives up to that as well with excitement and threat(!) in his voice. As a huge bonus his voice characterisations are a delight.